2019 Pouilly-Fuissé, Autour de la Roche, Domaine J A Ferret
A leading light not a leading price
£145 per 6 bottle case in bond
We are increasingly on the look-out for that needle in a haystack of wallet-friendly white Burgundy. For many that now means searching in the Cote Chalonnaise and the Mâconnais. Earlier this year we offered an outstanding Montagny from Domaine Feuillat-Juillot. We had further good fortune last week when we tasted, here in Atlas House, a Pouilly-Fuissé from one of the historic and highly regarded domaines of the Mâconnais, Domaine J A Ferret
Domaine J A Ferret was established in Fuissé in 1840, but it was really in the 1950s, under Jeanne Ferret, that its reputation was firmly established. She focused on the very best terroirs and established her own classification of “Tete de Cru” and “Hors Classe” long in advance of any talk of Premier Cru classification. She was also a very early adopter of domaine bottling. Since 2008 the property has been owned by Maison Louis Jadot, which has helped the estate grow while allowing it to retain its own distinct identity. The support Jadot gives, in terms of investment and winemaking, means that Domaine Ferret continue to produce some of the finest wines of this resurgent region.
I say resurgent because Pouilly-Fuissé has been the focus of increased attention after official Premier Cru recognition was recently granted. Twenty-two vineyards around the villages of Chaintré, Fuissé, Solutré and Vergisson may be labelled as Premier Cru from the 2020 vintage. It has been a long time coming but, judging by a tasting I attended last year, fully merited. For three Premier Cru around Fuissé, it was fascinating to see, for example, the balanced weight of Les Reisses, the stony persistence of Les Perrières, the elegance and harmony of Les Menetières, each of which showed a consistent terroir character across a number of different producers.
As for the wine being offered here – Domaine J A Ferret, Pouilly-Fuissé, Autour de la Roche 2019 – it has come from vineyards around Vergisson with an average vine age of 40 years. The fruit is hand-harvested and then fermented in stainless steel and bottled in February after the vintage thus retaining its fruit clarity and freshness. The wine we tasted showed beautiful poise and balance, with a pure, elegant, citrus fruit purity, subtly expressed and sustained by a clean, vibrant freshness and commendable length. Additionally, as this is the 2019 vintage, it has benefitted from a number of years in bottle which shows in some added complexity and the wonderful harmony and drinkability that is the over-riding appeal here. We are also perhaps seeing the benefit of a wine from a vintage prior to the reclassification, after which one imagines prices might start to look a little different for a number of these wines.
2019 Pouilly-Fuissé, Autour de la Roche, Domaine J-A Ferret
£145 per 6 bottle case in bond
The 2019 Pouilly-Fuissé Autour de la Roche is a blend of 12 parcels. This sports a very clever reduction on the nose without diminishing the terroir or freshness. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity, taut and fresh, the absence of wood lending clarity and length on the finish. Excellent. Drink 2022-2032